Martin Racing Stable LLC and Morgan Thoroughbred LLC’s Beat the Blues, a narrow loser to Grade I winner Sassy Image in the Winning Colors (Grade III) in May, overtook pacesetter Starlite Starbrite in mid-stretch and splashed home to a half-length victory over the rapidly-closing Little Polka Dot in the $48,637 Sunday afternoon feature at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Bret Calhoun and ridden by Miguel Mena, Beat the Blues covered the six furlongs on the “sloppy” main track in 1:10.36.
Beat the Blues rated in second behind Starlite Starbrite through opening fractions of :21.94 and :45.57. A 4-year-old daughter of Great Pyramid-IRE, Beat the Blues gained the lead at the eighth-pole, increased her advantage to as many as two lengths and held off a late rally from Little Polka Dot to win for the seventh time in her career.
Breaking from the gate as the 2-1 favorite in the field of six, Beat the Blues returned mutuels of $6.00, $3.60 and $2.60. Maggi Moss’ Little Polka Dot finished second and returned $4 and $3 with Jared Hughes’ Hot Hot Mama another four lengths back in third returning $3.60.
Nearly 1,000 breast cancer survivors, family members and friends were at Churchill Downs on Sunday for the annual "Horses & Hope Day at the Races." The day honors the groundbreaking breast cancer outreach initiative of Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear that provides breast cancer information and free screenings to workers in Kentucky's horse industry, including many who have little or no health insurance coverage. Gov. Steve Beshear joined the First Lady for the on-track celebration of the work of Horses & Hope and its partner, the Kentucky Cancer Program, during the daylong celebration at Churchill Downs.
The victory was worth $28,920 and increased Beat the Blues’ bankroll to $293,362 with a record of 7-3-2 from 15 lifetime starts.
Racing resumes Wednesday with a 10-race program that will begin at 12:40 p.m. EST.